Business

FTSE 100 slips after Brexit jitters

Traders in London Image copyright AP

The London stock market has closed lower after jitters over Brexit hit banking and retail shares.

The benchmark FTSE 100 finished down 0.12%, or 8.52 points, at 7358.56.

On Monday the UK parliament backed the government's Brexit bill, paving the way for formal negotiations to be triggered.

However, shares in Prudential rose 2.8% as strong growth in its Asian business helped its group operating profits to rise 7% to £4.3bn.

But the rise in Prudential shares did not stop the wider market from edging down.

Markets were jittery about the imminent triggering of Brexit negotiations and Scotland's call for a second independence referendum.

Bank shares were under pressure, with Royal Bank of Scotland down 2.5% and Lloyds more than 2% lower.

Big retail and banking stocks have been particularly sensitive to political developments, as has the pound.

On the currency markets, the pound fell to an eight-week low against the dollar, dropping 0.5% to $1.2157.

Against the euro, the pound was down 0.4% at 1.1430 euros.